Thursday, September 28, 2006

316 to fight for Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon glory

Kota Kinabalu: A record 316 participants have signed up for the TM 20th Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon this weekend.

Billed the World's Toughest Mountain Race it has drawn the interest of top mountain runners from Britain, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain and also Nepal.

The race will take place over two days, with the women and men's veteran category being flagged on Sept 30 followed by the men's event the next day.

The race will see participants running up and down the 21km (4,095m) Mount Kinabalu.

Defending champion Anna Picthrova and Ricardo Mejia have confirmed their participation in the race that will also feature the final leg of the Buff Skyrunner World Series, organised by the World Federation of Sports at Altitude (FSA).

Mejia who won the event in 2001 and 2005 winner, is currently leading the Buff Skyrunner World Series. He will be pitting his skills against Robert Jebb of Britain who was last year's Buff Skyrunner champion, Spaniard Agusti Roc Amador (2002 Climbathon winner) and Italian Dapit Fulvio (currently ranked 3rd in the Buff Skyrunner World Series).

Picthrova who is a four-time champion from 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005 will be running against former champion Dr. Angela Mudge. She was climbathon champion from 1998 to 2000 and currently leading the Buff Skyrunner women's category.

She did not compete over the last five years as she was pursuing her studies then.

Apart from Mudge, other favourites include French runner, Corrine Favre who was last year's Buff Skyrunner World Series champion and Spain's Ester Hernandez Casahuga.

The Malaysia side, meanwhile, will feature men's all time favourite, Guianus Salagan, Madamin Ghun and Muis Balinting. Madamin finished 11th while Muis took 13th placing in the race last year.

As for the women's category, Malaysia's challenge will be led by Florinda Aku (fifth placing last year), Danny Kuilin Gongot, Muidah Bolinting and Domidah bte Lumbuting.

Among the participants for this year's race are Australia, China, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and USA.

Source: Daily Express

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